Graduate Requirements  Undergraduate Requirements

The Information Security Graduate Certificate curriculum is comprised of five courses housed in the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS):



The graduate-level certificate program consists of 15 credits across five classes: Internet Law and Policy, Computer Security, Information Risk Management, and two electives, such as System Defense and Test and Fraud Detection.  The undergraduate program certificate requires successful completion of 15 credits as well — typically the three classes: Law, Security, and Risks classes plus a capstone course as an elective.  Students may enter the program at any time and take core courses in any order that suits them, and then take electives.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 and no grade below C are required for certificate completion.

It is possible but not necessary to complete this accelerated certificate program in one calendar year. All our courses are available as either online offernings or through remote participation. Currently all courses are compressed into eight-week cycles. The eight-week courses consist of two evening classes per week. Most in-person classes are Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6pm ot 8pm. Currently, all classes are offered in the UMass Center in Springfield, MA. 

Registration is through the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). The cost is 750 USD/credit.  Fifteen credits are required for the certificate.  The total cost for the program is 11,250 USD. Additionally, the courses require purchase of certain textbooks. CPE charges a small fee per semester as well. 

CICS 597C Introduction to Computer Security  acts as an overview of the certificate program with an emphasis on the technical components of the curriculum. INFOSEC 690L Internet Law and Policy provides basic legal knowledge for Internet related legal issues with a focus on practical information for use by computer professionals.   INFOSEC 690R Information Risk Management incorporates both computational risk modeling studies with compliance strategies to managing information assets and communications technologies using the case method. INFOSEC 690S System Defense and Test trains students to detect and analyze weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems as a method of assessing the security of a system. INFOSEC 690F Fraud Detection is a broad introduction to the practical techniques used in the forensic investigation of digital information and devices.

The graduate certificate program is open to matriculated students and post-graduate non-degree students, as long as they have the prerequisites for the courses.  The undergraduate certificate program is open to students with Associate's degrees or professionals with significant work experience.   Students may choose to take any classes individually as a part of UMass Amherst's Continuing & Professional Education. The Certificate — accredited by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty Senate — is awarded by the College of Information and Computer Sciences upon successful completion of all courses in the curriculum. 

Students who qualify for admission to University of Massachusetts Amherst may matriculate and apply these courses to a degree program. For example, we are in the process of creating a new Masters in Information Security Management degree. The graduate-level certificate will be 15 of the 30 credits required for the new MS degree. (Note that the new degree will not be available to students until it is Board approved, and the process for approval will not complete before Fall 2018.) Classes at the 500-level and above can be taken by undergraduates and graduate students alike. However, the graduate-level Information Security certificate can be awarded to only persons with a bachelor's degree recognized by UMass Amherst. Students without an undergraduate degree can still take the graduate-level classes, but can with prior aproval from us apply them to only the undergraduate-level certificate.